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Remembering Empire: Free materials to build global citizenship values and competence in French (S3 and AH)

7 March 2023 (University of Stirling)

Looking for free new materials for French learners? ‘Remembering Empire’ is an interdisciplinary learning programme for pupils of French in S3 and Advanced Higher. Developed by Dr Fiona Barclay (University of Stirling) with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, ‘Remembering Empire’ builds language competence and global citizenship values by exploring France’s empire in Algeria. By focusing on the establishment of the colony, life there, and the departure of the settlers when Algeria became independent, learners are encouraged to make connections with Scotland’s history of emigration and colonisation, and with the experiences of refugees today.

The S3 programme consists of five sessions and focuses on an electronic comic book, ‘Entre ici et là-bas’, which tells the story of Jeanne, a young French girl whose family are forced to leave Algeria when it becomes independent. Waiting to board a ship, she reflects on her family’s history, from her great-grandfather who arrived in 1871 and built a farm for his family, to her own experiences of the war that led to independence. We hear about the indigenous Arab population and think about how they experienced this history.

Activities based on the comic include:

  • City/country names and prepositions
  • Asking questions and naming objects (if you had to leave home suddenly, what would you pack in your suitcase?)
  • Describing emotions and using être in the present (how do the different characters feel?)
  • Different daily routines, in Algeria and in France
  • Using the near future (aller + infinitive) to imagine what the characters might do in the future.

Free resources include the comic (available on Webtoons), a video-recording of the comic being read aloud by a native speaker, lesson plans for all sessions with detailed information and interactive activities, and suggested drama activities led by actors with video guides.

For learners taking Advanced Higher French, Remembering Empire offers full support for the portfolio element, including the two required texts (a play and an interview with the playwright). Five sessions of archive footage, readings and activities in French introduce learners to the history and culture of French Algeria and the war which led to independence, and give the background required to study the play.

Six sessions focus on a French play, Les Pieds Tanqués (2012). Set on a pétanque pitch, the play presents the conflicting memories of the Algerian War. Full resources include the interactive electronic text of the play and notes, a written interview with the playwright, Philippe Chuyen, lesson plans with detailed information and classroom activities, a blank fiche de lecture and character profiles for pupils to complete (plus completed versions for teachers), and a video recording of a live performance. The package also includes a plan for a potential AH Portfolio essay question.

Interested? The materials will be available from April 2023. To express an interest and be contacted then, leave your name and contact details on this form:

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages